Conducting polymers with redox active pendant groups show properties typical of both conducting polymers (i.e., capacitive charging and intrinsic conductivity) and redox polymers (i.e., electrochemical surface response at the formal potential of the pendant groups). The two components can also exert significant interaction on each other during their separate electrochemical reactions. In poly(pyrrol-3-ylhydroquinone), a polypyrrole derivative functionalized with hydroquinone units, the redox conversion of the pendant groups has a large impact on the polymer backbone. This interaction is manifested by a loss of bipolaron states during the hydroquinone oxidation, leading to a decreasing p-doping level with increasing potential, something which, to the best of our knowledge, has never been observed for a conducting polymer. Another effect is a contraction of the polymer film, and subsequent mass loss due to solvent expulsion upon hydroquinone oxidation, which counteracts the normal swelling of polypyrrole with increased potential. The conducting redox polymer under investigation has been synthesized via two routes, leading to different fractions of subunits bearing redox active hydroquinone groups. While the redox potentials are unaffected by the synthesis route, the backbone/pendant group interaction varies notably depending on the degree of quinone functionalization. This type of polymers could find use in, e.g., organic energy storage materials, since the polymer backbone both increases the electronic conductivity and prevents dissolution of the active material, as well as in actuator application, due to polymer contraction over the relatively narrow potential region where the pendant group redox chemistry occurs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry